Persian: pronunciation of kaf and qaf

toscairn

Banned
Japan
How do you pronounce "kaf" in Farsi?

I noticed that "kaf" is pronounced differently from the English "k."

I thought once that as "qaf" is pronounced glottalized, the ideal articulation point of "kaf" would be nearer to the front.

The articulation of the English "k" is soft palate. I wonder if that of Farsi is the hard palate, or the border between them.

Am I right or wrong?
 
  • Tisia

    Senior Member
    Iran, Persian, Kurdish, English, Finnish
    Hi

    Yes, you are right. The the articulation of Persian 'k' is at the hard palate or the border between soft and hard palate. It is really hard for me to see the difference between Persian and English 'k' though. But I think this doesn't have any effect of someone's understanding of Farsi, if the grammar isnot an issue.

    'qaf' is borrowed from the Arabic alphabet so its pronuncition is different from 'ke' or 'kaf'. It is articulated at the glottis as 'qe'.

    I haven't studied Persian sounds as precise as knowing these articulations, but one thing I have noticed is that for the articulation of Persian sounds, the glottis or soft palate is rarely used except for some of those that come from the Arabic alphabet.

    Regards
    Tisia
     

    toscairn

    Banned
    Japan
    Really, pronunciationwise there's no distinction between qaf and kaf?
    I'll check it next time I hear Farsi spoken.
    Thanks for the nice info.
     

    Tisia

    Senior Member
    Iran, Persian, Kurdish, English, Finnish
    غ 'ghain' is different from ق 'qaf'. In Arabic, the sounds are different for both. 'ghain' is articulated at the soft palate while 'qaf' is glottalized. In Persian, the sounds for these are different from the Arabic articulation. Both 'ghain' and 'ghaf' in a word are articulated as 'qé'. eg. a Persian pronounces بغداد (Baghdad) differently from an Arabic, because in Persian the sound for both غ and ق is the same and it is 'qé' while those of the Arabic are 'ghé' and 'qé' respectively.

    Regards
    Tisia
     

    Tisia

    Senior Member
    Iran, Persian, Kurdish, English, Finnish
    toscairn said:
    Really, pronunciationwise there's no distinction between qaf and kaf?
    ....
    Of course there is. 'kaf' is 'k' like in کتاب (ketab) 'book' but 'qaf' is pronounced as in عراق 'Iraq'. In English you would pronounce both ک 'kaf' and ق 'qaf' the same way, this is because they don't have the sound 'qaf', but in Persian or Arabic the sounds are different. If you listen to the pronunciation of عراق 'Iraq' and کتاب (ketab) , you will notice the difference in pronunciation very distinctly

    Hope this helps:)
    Regards
    Tisia
     

    Bienvenidos

    Senior Member
    USA
    English
    I believe it's very similar to the English "k"; when I say "ketab" and "kitten", I pronounce the "k" similarly. However, to make the qaf sound in "ketab", my tounge is pressed further up on the roof of my mouth than when saying "kitten". I hope this makes sense!

    :)
     

    mansio

    Senior Member
    France/Alsace
    A good example is the pronunciation of the name of the city of Qom.

    So how is it in Persian, sorry Farsi?
     

    Bienvenidos

    Senior Member
    USA
    English
    No need to be sorry. Government authorised translators in Iran sign their work, "Translated from the original Persian." In an English sentence, you would say that my native language is Swedish - you wouldn't say it's svenska.
    Exactly. There's a huge debate as to which term is correct. Although I think it's easier to say Farsi, I think it's a litle selfish for me to do that. As lugubert said, Swedish is Swedish in English, not svenska. The word Persian is so highly respected (for the Persian arts, literature, language), that it's more common to use that term. I always go with "Persian/Farsi". More people recognize Persian than Farsi, but then again, sometimes it's the other way around.

    :)
     
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